After Josh Alexander relinquished the Impact World Championship due to injury, we were guaranteed a new titleholder at the Rebellion PPV. Steve Maclin and Kushida tested their skills to determine the next world champ.
One man in particular had great interest in the bout. Nick Aldis made a surprise appearance on the broadcast as special guest commentator. The National Treasure had been working for the NWA holding their worlds heavyweight championship for 1,309 days as a two-time titleholder. Aldis previously wrestled for TNA/Impact from 2008 to 2015. He held the TNA world heavyweight championship as well. Aldis confirmed that he signed a deal to wrestle for Impact.
.@RealNickAldis is BACK in IMPACT Wrestling!— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 17, 2023
On to the title match. Maclin tenderized Kushida to grind down his opponent. Kushida had tenacity and heart to weather the punishment. The first close call on a pinfall came from Maclin executing a buckle bomb and a sitout powerbomb.
A Buckle Bomb followed up with a Sit Down Powerbomb from @SteveMaclin STILL couldn't put #KUSHIDA down! #Rebellion pic.twitter.com/zpcboQb38P— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 17, 2023
Kushida’s fortunes turned on a Spanish Fly armbar. Maclin was able to get to the ropes for the break before any damage was done. Kushida continued his momentum with a flatliner smashing Maclin’s head onto the edge of the announce table.
Back inside the ring, Maclin regrouped to hit a Tree of Woe spear. Maclin planted Kushida with the double underhook DDT finisher. Kushida surprisingly kicked out. Maclin went high risk and paid the price when Kushida caught him for the Hoverboard Lock. Maclin elbowed his way free. He hit a rolling DVD, but Kushida gripped tight to get the Hoverboard Lock again. Maclin escaped with a rolling DVD into the corner.
Drama intensified when Kushida applied the Hoverboard Lock one more time. Maclin powered out for a suplex DDT to win.
Afterward, Maclin demanded that Scott D’Amore be a man of his word to personally hand him the title belt. This was a bit of rubbing it in D’Amore’s face. The Impact head honcho came out to do as Maclin asked, but he drew the line at placing the belt around Maclin’s waist. Maclin reacted by hitting D’Amore from behind. That brought Aldis into the ring as the babyface hero. Maclin and Aldis shared a tense staredown before the new champ made a tactical retreat.
.@RealNickAldis wasn't going to stand by after @SteveMaclin attacked @ScottDAmore from behind! #Rebellion pic.twitter.com/ZvlQILAnnE— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 17, 2023
Aldis will steal the news in this situation, since he is the bigger star. However, Maclin deserves respect for climbing off the WWE scrap heap to build himself into a top player at Impact. Rising to world champion is an admirable journey.
Does Impact have your attention with the return of Nick Aldis? Do you think Steve Maclin can be a worthy world champion?
Get the full results for the Rebellion PPV here. The show is available for streaming through through Fite TV.